Slide 21 of 23
James Greaves, forty-seven, employs thirty people making castings for the pumping industry. Aware that his business could be run better, he goes to the library with a general need for information about how he might find more customers for his products and how he could improve his operations.
James finds the librarian really helpful, telling him about the free help he can get from Business Link, who will assess his business with him. He makes an appointment with an adviser for next week, but he wants to make a start now, on his own.
The BBC online self-assessment programme called Fit for Business is great - really good at showing him his strengths and weaknesses. He sees the needs to market his products more effectively and develop his own management skills, and to find out how to export his products abroad. The BBC Education Web site tells him about the Business and Work Hour on the BBC2 Learning Zone, especially for SMEs - small and medium-sized enterprises, which James realises he is.
James samples part of the programme online, and finds it really interesting to see and hear someone like him talking about how they reached new markets and whom they contacted to help them. He then finds the AGORA Web site, coordinated in the UK by the BBC, which links businesses like his across Europe, and gets the details of some companies which are likely customers for his products. The librarian suggests that James look at the DTI site, where he finds useful information on what he needs to do to export his products to Europe - he'll ask more about that next week, when he meets the business adviser.
James decides there's much more to learn than he thought, and he becomes a regular visitor on Saturday afternoons, keeping up to date to get an edge over his competitors, and using the BBC Alert database to see what broadcasting is in the pipeline that will be useful to him.
Powerpoint Users: click on the image of James to return to the slide about Business and the Economy.